Yemen: Security forces arrest a journalist and close two radio stations in Aden

Radio stations Adeniya FM and Bandar Aden were suspended after police raided their headquarters in Mansourah, Aden governorate, on 27 September. Journalist Raafat Rashad was arrested the day after. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) in calling for the journalist’s immediate release.

Fighters with Yemen's Security Belt Force. Credits: Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP

Journalist and director of both radio stations Raafat Rashad was arrested when he went to the headquarters of the Security Belt Forces to inquire about the closure of the radio stations. This military force controls Aden, and does not follow the orders of the Yemeni government and it's mostly funded by the United Arab Emirates. His whereabouts are still unknown. 

The YJS said that it “condemns this arbitrary raid and holds the Security Belt forces responsible for it.” The union added that they “demand not to restrict the media or to involve them in political conflicts.”

In July 2021, the YJS noted that, since the beginning of the civil war, there have been over 1,400 violations of media freedoms, including 38 killings of media professionals.

Yemen is now one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, with extremely high levels of impunity

Anthony Bellanger, the Secretary General of the IFJ said: “We join our affiliate the YJS in condemning this raid and the suspension of Adeniya FM and Bandar Aden. We urge local authorities to lift the suspension and free Raafat immediately.”

For further information contact IFJ Middle East & Arab World on +32 (0) 2 235 22 11

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Find the Middle East and Arab World IFJ regional office on Twitter (in Arab): @IFJ_AR